Investing.com – Here are the top five things you need to know in financial markets on Thursday, July 4:
1. U.S. Markets Closed for Independence Day
Wall Street is closed for the Fourth of July holiday, after all three indexes reached fresh record closing highs on Wednesday.
The rose 0.7% to close at 26,966, while the closed at 2,995.82, up 0.8% and the gained 0.8% to 8,170.23.
Trading on all exchanges is expected to return to normally scheduled hours on Friday.
2. European Stocks Rise Slightly on Italy Relief
European stocks were flat on Thursday, but still nearing one-year highs after Italy avoided being disciplined for its budget.
The was flat as of 6:37 AM ET (10:37 GMT), while the was up 0.1%, the was flat and the slipped 0.3%.
Italian banks surged after the Italian government convinced the European Commission that new measures it submitted this week will help bring its debt in line with fiscal rules. The two have been at a standstill as the EU claims Italy’s current budget violates fiscal rules for the bloc.
Trade is likely to be thin in Europe, with U.S. markets closed.
In Asia, Japan’s 25 closed 0.3%, while the Shanghai composite slipped 0.3% and Hong Kong’s fell 0.2%.
3. T-Mobile, Sprint Deal Close to Being Approved
The merger between T-Mobile and Sprint is very close to being approved after the companies outlined their asset sales to Dish Network, CNBC reported.
The $26.5 billion merger has faced scrutiny from the U.S. Department of Justice. The deal is only likely to be approved if T-Mobile assets are sold off to keep the market competitive.
T-Mobile and Sprint have agreed to sell Boost, Virgin Mobile and Sprint Prepaid to Dish, as well as some airways, according to CNBC. There could still be hurdles to push past as the DOJ is worried the merger won’t allow Dish to compete fairly.
4. Oil Dragged Down on U.S. Supply Concerns
Oil prices fell on Thursday, as worries about supply in the U.S. and economic growth weighed on investor sentiment.
dipped 0.1% to $63.77 a barrel, while West Texas Intermediate () crude futures fell 0.4% to $57.07.
U.S. inventories as U.S. refineries last week consumed less crude than the week before and processed 2% less oil than a year ago, the EIA data showed, despite being in the midst of the summer gasoline demand season.
Global supply is likely to fall after OPEC agreed on Tuesday to extend oil production cuts until March 2020.
In other commodities, prices fell 0.2% to $1,417.85, while the , which measures the greenback against a basket of six major currencies, was flat at 96.317.
5. Bitcoin Rollercoaster Contines
The price of Bitcoin () rose on Thursday, reaching the $11,500 mark, even as the UK’s the sale of derivatives based on crypto-assets to retail consumers from early 2020.
Prices of digital coins are volatile, which the Financial Conduct Authority says are ill-suited for retail investors who don’t understand all of the risks involved.
“We estimate the potential benefit to retail consumers from banning these (derivative) products to be in a range from 75 million pounds ($94 million) to 234.3 million pounds a year,” the watchdog said.
Meanwhile, the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Financial Services requested that Facebook (NASDAQ:) stop developing its cryptocurrency, Libra.
In the letter from Tuesday, the committee notes that the project could lead ”to an entirely new global financial system that is based out of Switzerland and intended to rival U.S. monetary policy and the dollar.” Such a rivalry could cause privacy, national security and monetary policy concerns, the lawmakers said.
Over 30 advocacy groups have asked Congress to implement an official moratorium on Libra development.
-Reuters contributed to this report.